That smells funny, I’m not going to eat it.

OK, so you’ve just been to your veterinarian and s/he wants kitty to switch to wet food in order to lose weight.  (We’ll cover the merits of dry versus wet another time).  But right now you’re faced with what seems like a daunting challenge.

Because most cats react to new foods with the “one sniff and walk way disdain,” here’s a simple plan.  Introduce the new food gradually. The theory is to get kitty used to its scent.  Place a dollop of the new food next to her regular kibble. And to entice her, you might even add a little something she relishes such as tuna juice.  Now that will get a girl interested.

Then very gradually over the next week, so as not to upset her GI tract, mix the new food with the old in small increments.  By the end of 6-7 days, she should be acclimated to her new diet. But be patient. Don’t remove the old food completely until she’s on board.  Hunger strikes are especially dangerous for overweight cats, who can develop life-threatening liver problems if deprived of protein for more than 36 hours.

And remember your long-term goals.  If your vet has recommended this switch, it’s to prolong your cat’s life and to prevent serious conditions such as diabetes.  Good luck and bon appetite!

About Cambridge Canines Pet Sitting Service

I'm a Cambridge resident who has written about feline behavior and body language for WebMD and Catnip, the Tufts Veterinary School newsletter. In a parallel universe, I also write about healthcare and have won awards for news reporting. A passion for animals led me to start my own pet sitting business in 2004. While the information in my posts has been researched, it is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary-related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly.
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